The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned till October 3 a plea filed by Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat seeking a case against Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma for their alleged hate speech, reported PTI.
A Bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal deferred the case after Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the Delhi Police submitted a request for adjournment. The bench, however, observed that no further adjournment would be granted to the police in the case.
This was the third time the case has been adjourned at the request of the Delhi Police. Earlier, the Delhi Police had sought additional time to file a counter affidavit in response to the special leave petition. In August, their counsel had circulated a letter seeking an adjournment, according to Live Law.
Karat had approached the Supreme Court after the Delhi High Court in June last year had dismissed her petition seeking a first information report against Thakur and Verma.
At a rally in January 2020, Thakur, a Union minister, was heard shouting “desh ke gaddaron ko” and the crowd responded with “goli maaro saalon ko”. The slogan meant “shoot the traitors”, with an expletive used for “traitors” being a reference to those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Verma, in his speech, had alleged before an audience that the “lakhs of protestors” who had gathered at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh would enter their homes to “rape their sisters and daughters and kill them”.
Soon after, riots had broken out in North East Delhi in February, in which 53 people died and hundreds were injured. The majority of those killed were Muslims.
Karat had sought an FIR under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 153B (imputations prejudicial to national integration), 295A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 298 (uttering words with intent to hurt religious feelings), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace), 505 (public mischief) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
However, the Delhi High Court order had upheld the verdict of a magistrate and said that the petitioners had not followed the prescribed mechanism under the Code of Criminal Procedure for seeking registration of a first information report in such cases.
Section 196 of the Code of Criminal Procedure states that prior sanction from the Centre or state government is required for a court to take cognisance of a case under Sections 153A, 153B, 295A, and 505 of the Indian Penal Code.
While hearing the case in April, a bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna had observed that prima facie, the magistrate’s view appeared to have been incorrect and had sought the response of the Delhi Police to the plea.